urged as kahawai enters QMS
– TOKM Newsletter
This article was originally
published in the Tangaroa - Official newsletter of the Treaty of
Waitangi Fisheries Commission.
KAHAWAI IS AN important
species for Maori and has been introduced into the QMS from 1 October
Historically, kahawai has
been a recreational fish as either bait or sport. However for Maori
it remains an important food source.
Under the QMS Maori are entitled
to 20 percent of the TACC. Recreational fishers have voiced concern
at its introduction into the QMS, saying the species is already
on the decline.
However Commission spokesperson
Tania McPherson says one of the big problems for the sustainable
management of kahawai is that there is no formal feedback on the
amounts of fish being caught by recreational fishers.
“It has been very difficult
to determine how much fish is caught for consumption and how much
is caught for sport.
“Charter boat operators catching
for entertainment don't have to provide any information on the amounts
they are catching.
“That makes it difficult
to determine the health of the fishery and to be able to implement
sustainable management programmes.
Tania adds “If we want to
ensure a healthy kahawai fishery for everyone, there needs to be
more accountability from recreational and customary users to provide
information feedback for sustainability in the same way that commercial
fishers have to report their catches.”